A number of airport staff and fellow passengers instructed ABC Information the Republican lawmaker went out a again exit escorted by officers after arriving at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Cruz confronted backlash after preliminary reviews emerged on social media that he had jet-setted to Cancun regardless of the widespread disaster in Texas. Talking with reporters outdoors his residence upon his return Thursday night, Cruz mentioned in hindsight, “I would not have executed it.”
“I’ve to confess, I began having second ideas nearly the second I sat down on the airplane,” Cruz mentioned. “On the one hand, all of us who’re mother and father have a duty to maintain our youngsters. … However I even have a duty that I take very significantly of combating for the state of Texas.”
“I perceive why individuals are upset,” he later mentioned, including he discovered a number of the criticism “unlucky.” “My intention was to maintain my household.”
The senator was initially scheduled to return to Texas on Saturday together with his household, however modified his reservation within the morning to return Thursday night, in accordance with a supply acquainted with his journey schedule.
Cruz’s workplace instructed ABC Information the senator was examined Thursday morning for COVID-19 to adjust to the brand new mandate requiring residents to current a destructive take a look at earlier than touring to the USA.
“Leaving when so many Texans have been hurting did not really feel proper, and so I modified my return flight and flew again on the primary obtainable flight I might take,” Cruz instructed reporters.
In a press release Thursday afternoon, Cruz mentioned the journey was for his two daughters, Caroline and Catherine, and their mates.
“This has been an infuriating week for Texans … Like hundreds of thousands of Texans, our household misplaced warmth and energy, too,” Cruz mentioned in a press release with ABC Information.
“With college canceled for the week, our ladies requested to make a journey with mates. Eager to be dad, I flew down with them final evening and am flying again this afternoon,” he mentioned.
“My workers and I are in fixed communication with state and native leaders to unravel what occurred in Texas. We wish our energy again, our water on, and our houses heat. My crew and I’ll proceed utilizing all our assets to maintain Texans knowledgeable and secure,” Cruz added.
Cruz headed to Cancun for a long-planned household trip, numerous media retailers had reported, together with The Related Press, CNN and Fox Information.
The Houston Police Division confirmed to ABC Information that Cruz’s workers contacted police personnel on Wednesday requesting help upon the senator’s arrival on the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, although they didn’t specify what sort of help.
Police mentioned he arrived at Terminal E and officers “monitored his actions” by way of the terminal.
Critics slammed the senator on Twitter after images emerged on social media of a person who seems to be Cruz aboard a airplane.
The Lone Star state is within the midst of a disaster within the wake of a strong storm that began Sunday, creating widespread energy outages and burst pipes. Almost 500,000 clients in Texas remained with out energy Thursday morning.
Gov. Greg Abbott averted commenting on Cruz’s journey, saying, “I have never been following individuals’s trip plans.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner mentioned, “Nicely it is actually a lot hotter the place he is going” when requested about Cruz’s journey throughout a press convention Thursday.
“My job is to remain right here till the scenario is resolved in order that’s it you already know, I am gonna let the senator communicate for the senator,” he added.
“That is one thing that he has to reply to his constituents about,” state Republican Social gathering Chairman Allen West instructed the AP about Cruz’s journey. “I am right here making an attempt to maintain my household and take care of my mates and others which are nonetheless with out energy.”
Texas Democrats known as on Cruz to resign for seemingly abandoning his constituents within the midst of the storm.
Texas Democratic Social gathering chairman Gilberto Hinojosa mentioned, “Ted Cruz jetting off to Mexico whereas Texans stay dying within the chilly is not shocking, however it’s deeply disturbing and disappointing.”
“The Texas Democratic Social gathering calls on Ted Cruz to resign or be expelled from workplace… We should restore ethics, competence, and a authorities that works for the individuals,” the group mentioned in a press release.
Simply on Monday, Cruz had urged residents to remain residence in a radio interview that was shared on YouTube by his workplace by which he mentioned: “So do not threat it. Maintain your loved ones secure and simply keep residence and hug your youngsters.”
In the future later, Cruz issued a public apology on Twitter after an previous tweet of his from August resurfaced, by which he castigated California’s “failed vitality insurance policies” and mocked their energy grid system.
This week’s winter storm has additionally pushed Texas’ grid system to the restrict and resulted in hundreds of thousands being left with out energy on Wednesday.
“I’ve no protection,” he wrote apologetically. “A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good.”
In December, Cruz eviscerated Austin Mayor Steve Adler as a “hypocrite” for vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, throughout the pandemic after telling residents to remain residence.
ABC Information’ Meredith Deliso and Frank Elaridi contributed to this report.